Archives for: February, 2004

Close Encounters with Cooking

A long time ago, I used to consider myself a good cook. When Maria and I first starting dating, she was – initially – at least marginally impressed with my culinary skills. However, she quickly learned that I only knew how to make about 5 dishes, and after quickly growing bored with them, I was banished from the kitchen.

So since I’m home alone now, last night, for the first time in at least 5 years, I made one of my old favorites from grad school. It was the kind of dish you invent when you only have a few things in the fridge to work with, and you’re too poor, too lazy, or too busy to go out and buy any other ingredients. It consists of:

  • Ground turkey, cooked in a pan with House of Tsang’s Korean Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce
  • Sauteed sliced green peppers and onions
  • Japanese rice
  • All rolled up in a flour tortilla

If I do say so myself, it’s good eatin’. And, just as importantly from a male perspective, quite filling! Try it sometime. Use the stir fry sauce generously!

The Three Movements of Kai

The First Movement of KaiThe First Movement of Kai
The First Movement of Kai14-Feb-2004 11:03

I’ve uploaded 3 videos of Kai playing piano. The first of the three is the best. the second two are longer, and it sounds like he’s actually playing something (well, as his father, I definitely hear music – you probably just hear random keys being played, but that’s your problem). [I’ve taken down the second and third videos because I’m running short on disk space]

Route 50 Redux

Believe it or not, I’m finally finishing up the Route 50 web pages! I’ve added entries for days 4 and 5 – take a look. I’m amazed at how well I remember everything. I usually can’t go out the front door without having to come back in two or three times to retrieve things I’m supposed to take with me, but I remember that trip like it was yesterday.

For the first time in a long, long time, I feel I have my “voice” again. Ever since grad school, doing any significant amount of writing has been an unpleasant, sometimes painful task. Now it feels fun again. I think all those PoliSci papers I had to write at Georgetown did some damage that I’m only now recovering from!

Christian Science Monitor

Some of you know I’ve been an avid reader of the Christian Science Monitor for years. I have absolutely no interest in Christian Science, but it’s a paper that isn’t mired in pack journalism, and provides solid coverage of stories no one else is really covering. I’ll provide links here whenever I see good stories. Here’s a couple from this week:

Israeli bank raid breaks new turf

Border agents feel betrayed by Bush guest-worker plan

Man = Island

I drove Kai and Maria to the airport this morning. Maria is on spring break this week, so she and Kai are headed to Denver to spend time with Maria’s folks. So I’m alone in the house for a week. I hope I don’t starve to death. I can forage in the fridge for a day or two – I’m not sure what will happen to me after that.

I’ll probably put the finishing touches on the kitchen. I need to grout the floor tiles, put in baseboards, put in a GFCI outlet, and re-install the cabinet over the fridge (it needs to go 8″ to the left…). The doors and windows need to be replaced too, but we’ll save that for warmer weather. I have a draft written up describing all the work that’s gone into the kitchen since we moved in almost 8 months ago. Once I finish it, I’ll post it along with some before/during/after pictures.

Molly Ivins Followup

A followup on yesterday’s entry: I looked into the claim in Molly Ivins’ column about classifying fast food jobs as manufacturing jobs. I found another description of it which indicated that it was a statement made in hypothetical terms by Bush’s top economic adviser. So I’m not really clear on the actual context – it sounds like it might have been more of a gaffe than a serious policy proposal. But it’s safe to say that it was a really dumb thing to put out there.

Maria’s Work

Outside of the health situation, Maria has been doing well. She teaches two classes each semester at Villanova (aka “Vanillanova” which should tell you something about the composition of the student body). That’s a lighter load than usual for a new faculty member, but she negotiated for it during her hiring process, so she’d have time to do research too. She has a number of papers and book chapters in the works right now. Her area of research is Asian political economy, and the politics of the Japanese finanical system in particular. Don’t ever ask her a question about Japanese banking ;-). She’s having a hard time with a book chapter she’s working on now. I offered to write it for her, but she didn’t take me up on the offer – I’m not sure why :-) . She’s going to Montreal next month for a conference, and she has a couple trips to Japan planned for the summer. Kai and I will join her for one trip, in late May/early June. I’ll need to see how much time I can get off from work, as I won’t have accumulated much vacation time by then.

Illness Reigns

I have finally succumbed to the latest household illness. Maria and Kai have been sick with the flu for the past few days, and now I have it too. But it’s not quite bad enough to keep me from work. This winter in general has been a tough one for us health-wise. Particularly for Maria and Kai. Kai has some environmental allergies that often lead to him getting sick (but he didn’t have problems when we lived in CA, so I think it has to do with the house being sealed up for the winter – something we never had to do in CA). After numerous doctor visits we finally figured out what was happening, and we started keeping his room really clean, etc., and that has helped a lot. And poor Maria has had more sick days than healthy ones this winter. It’s almost like we’ve moved to some exotic foreign land, and we’re getting hammered with all the native viruses.

Kai Guitar Video

Kai playing guitar with the Eurythmics
Kai playing guitar with the Eurythmics25-Sep-2007 06:04

Kai has become obsessed with the Eurythmics, and Annie Lenox in particular. Instead of watching a cartoon before going to school in the morning, he now wants to watch a song or two on Annie Lenox’s “Diva” DVD. I think it’s really just a sign of his growing interest in music. He occasionally sits down at the piano, playing the keys with both hands like a pro (well, he at least looks like a pro – kids can be uncanny imitators) and making up songs.

Molly Ivins

I’ve recently started reading Molly Ivins’ editorials. She’s a Texas lefty – I thought they became extinct after Ann Richards left the scene, but apparently not. I saw in her column today something I haven’t seen reported anywhere else yet – that the Bush administration is trying to pump up the numbers for the manufacturing sector by getting fast food jobs reclassified as manufacturing jobs. There’s nothing like solving your problems through redefinition! She also mentioned the Rod Paige quote in which he (jokingly) referred to the NEA as a “terrorist organization”. It seems over the past month or two that the Bush administration has become as gaffe-prone as Clinton’s was. We’ll see if they keep it up!

Molly Ivin’s current column is here: – her next column will appear at that URL in a few days, so if you want to read the editorial I’m talking about, do it soon.

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